Supreme Court limits power of IL home care worker unions

Jun 30, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court is limiting the power of home care worker unions in Illinois.  

An Illinois homecare worker argued that being forced to pay union fees violates her first amendment rights. Monday the Supreme Court took her side.

But it limited its decision to non-traditional public employees, like homecare workers,  who are paid by the state but hired and fired by the individuals they care for.

Homecare worker Ashunda Harris says she will stay in the union because she’s seen the difference it can make. She says at one time wages were less than 6 dollars an hour. "We are now at, tomorrow 12.25, by the end of the year, 13. So those things have helped me a lot."

The Illinois organization that helped bring the case says the ruling is a big win for individual rights. Not only because of what was decided Monday, but because the courts left the door open for future litigation that could eliminate the right of public sector unions to collect any mandatory fees.